Reply To: Suzuki A-26 (School 26)

Alan Brinton

The main gasket on this particular item looks brand new, and the reeds are in excellent condition. Except for some discoloration at the mouthpiece end, there’s very little evidence of this Melodion having been played much. However, there is pretty clear evidence of post-factory tuning, and the tuning (measured at A=441) is very good, almost all keys within +/- three cents.

Here is this A-26 in comparison with other contemporary small-body Melodions.

From top to bottom, (1) 1970s Suzuki Soprano 25, (2) this A-26, (3) Suzuki Study 25 (A-25), and (4) (refinished) Samick version of Suzuki A-27. The A-26 is most similar to the A-27. All four models have the same type of sound, but in my opinion the A-25 is the best of these models, in terms of construction, key action, and sound — following in the footsteps of the earlier (1960s) A-25.

However, a fan of 25-27 key melodicas is likely to have preferences with regard to range, both in relation to the kind of music you’re playing and in relation to particular tunes and the key you want to play in. I found in switching between the A-25 and the A-26 that one or the other works much better than the other for some tunes.

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